General Crime

* Josue Orozco, 18, And 24-Year-Old Faustino Ayala, To Be Tried For The Murder Of Francisco Rodriguez

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The youngest person ever in San Mateo County to be charged as an adult with murder will go to trial in June, nearly four years after he allegedly shot to death a rival gang member, a deputy district attorney said today.Josue Orozco, now 18, is believed to have fatally shot 21-year-old Francisco Rodriguez once in the back of the head in a gang attack in Redwood City on July 12, 2005, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Orozco was 14 at the time of the shooting.On Feb. 14, 2008, he also became the first inmate in 16 years to escape from the San Mateo County Youth Services Center, after his arrest in 2005 for the murder, Wagstaffe said.Judge James Ellis on Wednesday confirmed Orozco’s trial for June 29, the seventh jury trial date to be set since his superior court arraignment May 17, 2006.Orozco has remained in the San Mateo County jail without bail since he was arrested in Texas about seven months after his Valentine’s Day escape from the juvenile facility. He had been in custody without bail there as well.Orozco is believed to have escaped by scaling a wall while playing basketball outside with two other inmates the evening of Feb. 14.He was located Sept. 17, 2008, in San Antonio, Texas, where he was arrested and booked into the Bexar County jail.Orozco did not fight extradition and was booked into the San Mateo County jail Oct. 29, 2008.Orozco’s co-defendant in the murder of Rodriguez, 24-year-old Faustino Ayala, who was driving the car Orozco is believed to have shot Rodriguez from, was found guilty June 23, 2008, of second-degree murder with the special allegation the murder was committed and a firearm used for gang purposes. Ayala was sentenced Aug. 11, 2008, to 40 years to life in prison with the chance of parole.Orozco faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

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